Fitness Tracker: FSA Eligibility
What is a fitness tracker?
While fitness tracking products like pedometers and other devices have been common for many years, fitness tracking devices have become increasingly popular as athletes and fitness enthusiasts search for new ways to track their progress and harness the power of data to see significant gains in their performance. With the release of popular wearable devices like the Fitbit, Nike FuelBand and fitness-geared smartwatches, there is a fitness tracker to match any person's lifestyle and activity level.
Fitness trackers are designed to measure motion, typically with a 3-axis accelerometer that can track motion in any direction, as well as including a gyroscope that can measure a person's orientation and direction. The fitness tracker will then take this data and processes it to calculate vital information about a person's state of health, including calories burned and distance traveled. Additionally, more advanced fitness trackers also contain components that can measure and track a person's sleep quality, heart rate/variability, blood oxygenation, pulse, body temperature and more (News-Medical.net).
Why is a fitness tracker not FSA/HSA/HRA eligible?
To purchase a fitness tracker with a consumer-directed healthcare account like an FSA, HSA or HRA, a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) is required to show that the device will be used to treat a legitimate medical condition such as obesity. The IRS has ruled that fitness trackers and other devices of their type are used to promote one's "general health" and are only medically necessary under special circumstances, which is why account holders must submit an LMN to their benefits administrators and it will most likely be covered under their benefits.